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CSOs Decry School Dropout Among Batwa Community

Sicola Tumwebaze, a strategy officer at Action for Batwa Empowerment Group (ABEG) says that out of the 220 Batwa household visited, 140 never attained formal education despite the introduction of Universal Primary and Secondary Education.
CSOs in Mbarara diseminating report and findings on Batwa Education and Health

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Civil Society Organizations-CSOs advocating for equal rights of the Batwa community have asked the government to address the school dropout rates of the minority groups. 

While releasing research findings on the access to education among the Batwa in Kabale, Kanungu, Kisoro, Rubanda and Bundibugyo districts on Saturday in Mbarara, the CSOs said gaps have been identified that hinder the Batwa’s access to education.

Sicola Tumwebaze, a strategy officer at Action for Batwa Empowerment Group (ABEG) says that out of the 220 Batwa household visited, 140 never attained formal education despite the introduction of Universal Primary and Secondary Education.

She says that the findings also indicated that school dropout rates among Batwa Population at both Primary and high school stood at 51.4% with Kisoro having the highest at 60.1%, followed by Rubanda 46.3%, Kabale 33.3% and Bundibugyo 27.8%.

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She attributes the school drop out to the eviction from the protected areas of the wildlife parks coupled with high levels of poverty.

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Peninah Zanik, the Executive Director of the United Batwa organizations of Uganda blames poverty as the key factor and lack of knowledge on existing education policies.

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 Justus Bithagalire, Bundibugyo District Education officer, says that last year out of the 36 Batwa pupils only two registered for Primary Leaving Examinations- PLE, but only one turned up for the exams last week.

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In Kabale, Moses Tumwijukye, Education Officer Kabale, says that the district did not register any pupil from the Batwa community for the PLE.

He says many have dropped out of school and are engaged in cheap labour.

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